A Midsummer Night's Dream

Lysander Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
An Athenian nobleman who loves Hermia. In many ways, he is the model of a constant lover. He risks death under Athenian law by coming up with the plan to elope into the woods with Hermia, and only strays from his loyalty to Hermia under the influence of the love juice. When the effect of the spell is removed, he returns to his true love.

Lysander Quotes in A Midsummer Night's Dream

The A Midsummer Night's Dream quotes below are all either spoken by Lysander or refer to Lysander. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream published in 2004.
Act 1, scene 1 Quotes
She, sweet lady, dotes,
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,
Upon this spotted and inconstant man. (109)
Related Characters: Lysander (speaker), Helena
Page Number: 1.1.110-112
Explanation and Analysis:

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Ay me, for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth. (132)
Related Characters: Lysander (speaker)
Page Number: 1.1.134-136
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
Lord, what fools these mortals be! (117)
Related Characters: Robin Goodfellow (Puck) (speaker), Hermia, Helena, Lysander, Demetrius
Page Number: 3.2.117
Explanation and Analysis:

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O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment:
If you we re civil and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls to mock me too?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so;
To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
With your derision! none of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin, and extort
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport. (147)
Related Characters: Helena (speaker), Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius
Page Number: 3.2.148-164
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, scene 1 Quotes
May all to Athens back again repair
And think no more of this night's accidents
But as the fierce vexation of a dream. (50)
Related Characters: Oberon (speaker), Hermia, Helena, Lysander, Demetrius
Page Number: 4.1.68-70
Explanation and Analysis:

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I know you two are rival enemies:
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so far from jealousy,
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity? (129)
Related Characters: Theseus (speaker), Lysander, Demetrius
Page Number: 4.1.148-151
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lysander Character Timeline in A Midsummer Night's Dream

The timeline below shows where the character Lysander appears in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 1
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
An angry Athenian nobleman Egeus, enters, with his daughter Hermia and her two suitors Lysander and Demetrius. Egeus explains to Theseus that he wants his daughter to marry Demetrius, but... (full context)
Men and Women Theme Icon
...obey her father, and adding that Demetrius is a worthy man. When Hermia responds that Lysander is also worthy, Theseus says that Egeus's support of Demetrius makes him worthier. (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Hermia wishes her father could look at Lysander through her eyes, but Theseus responds, "Rather your eyes must with his [your father's] judgment... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Demetrius asks Hermia to relent and marry him. But Lysander snaps that since Demetrius has Egeus's love, he should marry Egeus. Egeus, furious, vows to... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Lysander points out that he's as well born and wealthy as Demetrius. He adds that Demetrius... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Now alone, Lysander and Hermia discuss the troubles lovers of history have had to face, from war and... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Lysander comes up with a plan for the two of them to elope: they'll hide at... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
...Demetrius would love her. To make Helena feel better, Hermia tells her that she and Lysander are about to elope. The two lovers give Helena the details of their plan and... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...love to her and now loves Hermia. Helena decides to tell Demetrius about Hermia and Lysander's plan. She knows Demetrius will follow them into the woods, and that she's betraying her... (full context)
Act 2, scene 1
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
...Helena to stop following him since he does not love her, and promises to kill Lysander. When Demetrius again demands Helena leave him, Helena says "I am your spaniel . .... (full context)
Act 2, scene 2
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Lysander and Hermia enter. They've gotten lost, and decide to spend the night where they are.... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
Once Hermia and Lysander fall asleep, Puck enters, complaining that he's searched the forest and hasn't found the Athenian... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...breath to follow. Helena despairs, and concludes she must be ugly… but just then notices Lysander on the ground. (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Helena wakes Lysander, who immediately professes his love for her. He curses Demetrius for mistreating her, and regrets... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
Hermia suddenly wakes from a nightmare in which a serpent was eating her heart while Lysander stood by, smiling and doing nothing. When she discovers Lysander is gone, she is terrified,... (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
...the potion as Oberon asked, Demetrius and Hermia enter, fighting. Hermia suspects Demetrius has harmed Lysander because she doesn't believe he would abandon her. Demetrius insists he didn't hurt Lysander, but... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
...returns with the warning that Helena is on her way and trailed by the lovelorn Lysander. Puck is excited to watch the two men woo Helena, saying, "Shall we their fond... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
Helena enters with Lysander following and begging her to see that his vows of love are authentic. She doesn't... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
As Demetrius and Lysander argue, Hermia enters. She demands to know why Lysander abandoned her. Lysander tells her it... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Hermia can't understand why Helena would accuse her of such a thing. She demands Lysander tell her what's going on. But Lysander tells her to leave him alone and says... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Helena asks Lysander and Demetrius to protect her, which they gladly do, though she never ceases to think... (full context)
Act 3, scene 3
Love Theme Icon
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
...they started and fall asleep without seeing each other. Puck drops the love potion onto Lysander's eyes, saying that "when thou wak'st thou tak'st / True delight in the sight /... (full context)
Act 4, scene 1
Love Theme Icon
Plays Within Plays Theme Icon
Men and Women Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
...will dance at Theseus's castle in honor of Duke Theseus's wedding and the weddings of Lysander and Hermia and Demetrius and Helena. (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
The Supernatural Theme Icon
...enter, about to hunt. But they recognize the sleeping lovers and wake them. Theseus asks Lysander and Demetrius how such rivals came to be sleeping peacefully in the same glade. Lysander... (full context)